Beijing, September 6, 2023 – In an unexpected and symbolic move that has sent shockwaves through the global tech industry, China’s tech giant Huawei has silently unveiled a groundbreaking smartphone featuring their in-house Kirin 9000s processor, utilizing cutting-edge 2nd generation 7nm-class technology.
This stealthy release has exposed a major setback for the United States, casting doubt on the effectiveness of its efforts to undermine Huawei and China’s semiconductor industry.
Huawei’s strategic decision to forego formal announcements and discreetly launch the smartphone was perfectly timed, coinciding with the visit of US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who had publicly vowed to “slow China’s innovation rate.”
The juxtaposition of this momentous tech revelation and Raimondo’s visit speaks volumes about the geopolitical battle surrounding technology supremacy.
As the world had to dig deeper to uncover the phone’s specifications, it was revealed that Huawei’s Kirin 9000s processor was manufactured domestically by the Chinese semiconductor firm SMIC, boasting the impressive 2nd generation 7nm fabrication process.
This achievement has stunned experts, as less than a year ago, the US imposed sweeping sanctions on China’s semiconductor industry, aiming to stymie its growth. Analysts had predicted that these sanctions would either cripple the industry or halt its technological progress at the 28nm chip level.
Fast-forward to today, and China has defied the odds by showcasing its capacity to mass-produce cutting-edge 7nm chips entirely on its own.
While it may lag slightly behind the US, which has recently introduced the iPhone 14 Pro equipped with 4nm chips, China’s rapid catch-up suggests it is only one or two years behind in the race.
The US’s strategy seems to have backfired spectacularly. Instead of crippling Huawei and stifling China’s semiconductor ambitions, it has fostered resilience within the tech giant.
Moreover, these actions have compelled China to build an entirely indigenous semiconductor ecosystem, one that now stands as a formidable competitor to Western semiconductor companies.
International observers are taking note. The lesson is clear: depending on Western semiconductor suppliers comes with geopolitical risks, as the US has shown its readiness to weaponize the industry for its own ends. This realization may lead other countries to shift their focus towards Chinese firms for their semiconductor needs.
Huawei’s new smartphone release is set to shake up the global market, posing a considerable threat to Apple and other competitors.
Particularly in China, where patriotic consumers are likely to embrace the device as a symbol of the nation’s technological prowess, Huawei’s market share is expected to surge once more.
In the end, it’s a triple blow to the United States. The aggressive actions taken against Huawei and China’s chip sector have not only bolstered Huawei’s resilience but also compelled China to rapidly develop its domestic semiconductor capabilities.
This outcome underscores the futility of the current “Cold War” approach. Opting for engagement over extreme competition could have yielded more favourable results for the US.
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